Wednesday, May 28, 2008
UK CHILDCARE - HOW IS IT SUPPOSED TO ADD UP?
I'm getting more and more annoyed trying to work out how a family is supposed to operate in this country. I have just enquired how much 2 nursery places will cost when I finish maternity leave. I spoke to an average-priced private nursery in the suburbs, not an expensive city one. You can only use private nursery as state nursery only offers a session from 12-45pm - 3-45pm for a 3-4 year old and a place 9am-12pm for a 4-5 year old. That doesn't fit in with any job in this country. So there we have it. I can either have 2 full time places costing £1270.80 a month or 2 morning places (8-30am - 12-30pm) costing £677 a month. Work that one out - either £15249.60 a year or £8125 a year. The diesel I use in my car to get to the office and the nursery is now costing me £1.26 a litre (it was 92p a litre when I stopped for maternity leave 5 months ago). I use on average 160 litres a month, so add £201 a month to the nursery bill (that's assuming diesel doesn't go up at all in the next 6 months, which I guess is unlikely given it's gone up more than 30% in the last 6). If I decide to work full time, I need after school care and holiday cover for Marcel and Charlotte at an average cost of £470 a month for 2 places, ie £5651 a year. So to work full time my annual outlay for just childcare and diesel at today's prices is £23312 after tax. That means to cover just childcare and petrol I need a gross income of £35k+ to break even. Add to that an average £150k mortgage at £900 a month and food and I am left wondering where you get a job you can live off, even as a couple.